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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

WHO’S THE BOSS? - Everyone knows that when a judge’s behavior gets bad enough, a judicial ethics authority and/or high court steps in. But before the situation escalates to that point, judges’ misbehavior, incompetence and even just plain honest mistakes are often referred to the Department of NMP (Not My Problem). You see, judges don’t really have bosses, per se. They don’t directly report to a manager or supervisor and they don’t receive performance reviews or even much in the way of informal feedback, whether positive or negative. Meanwhile, chief judges, president judges and/or supervising judges often view their roles as purely administrative and don’t feel they have the authority or responsibility to hold their colleagues on the bench to account. In this week’s Law.com Litigation Trendspotter column, several events over the past year have demonstrated that this lack of meaningful supervision, guidance and support can negatively impact litigants, attorneys and the judges themselves. And with some aspects of virtual court here for the long haul, it stands to reason that this lack of oversight could become even more pronounced.

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